Hyderabad, Telangana: Hyderabad FC struck late to make it 1-1 and secure a point against Bengaluru FC in their Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 clash at the G.M.C. Balayogi Athletic Stadium on Friday. Sunil Chhetri scored the fastest goal of the season and put Bengaluru ahead in the second minute. Hyderabad tried to fight back and found it difficult after being reduced to 10 men in the 56th minute with Sahil Panwar’s sending off. Robin Singh came off the bench to net the equaliser in injury time.
The visitors went ahead just two minutes in after a poor pass by Kamaljit Singh followed by a giveaway from Hyderabad led to Chhetri getting the ball in a dangerous area. The 35-year-old drove into the hosts’ box and found the back of the net to make it 1-0.
The Blues had another opportunity four minutes later after some good interplay created a good chance for Raphael Augusto. The Brazilian’s effort, though, failed to test the goalkeeper and only troubled the side-netting.
The Brazilian had another chance in the 13th minute when a ball from the left found him with space in the box. This time Augusto’s attempt was blocked by Hyderabad, who were very much on the back foot and also survived a penalty appeal moments later.
Kamaljit was called into action shortly after when Juanan headed a corner on target, which the Indian goalkeeper dealt with confidently on this occasion. Bengaluru continued dominating possession and created chance after chance on the back of some great passing and movement.
Augusto had another opportunity presented to him in the 24th minute, this time via a Chhetri backheel, but the Brazilian failed to make the most of the chance again and dragged his shot wide. The Blues kept threatening Hyderabad for the remainder of the half without adding a second goal. The hosts rode their luck somewhat to head into the break trailing by a single goal.
Hyderabad started the second-half with more intent and purpose and were rewarded with a chance seven minutes into the half when Bobo had a sight at goal. He got his shot away but failed to test the goalkeeper as the hosts finally began to threaten. However, their chances of making a comeback was made even more difficult in the 56th minute after Sahil – the last defender in the scenario – brought down Udanta, who was through on goal.
Bengaluru could have put the game beyond Hyderabad in the 72nd minute when Chhetri squared to Ashique Kuruniyan in the box. The Indian youngster’s shot was on target but was well saved by Kamaljit as Hyderabad hung on. The chances, in fact, kept coming for Bengaluru but the defending champions failed to find that elusive second goal. Augusto, Chhetri and Udanta all had good chances but failed to convert.
Bengaluru were made to pay for their missed opportunities in the second minute of injury time and it was super-sub Robin, who was at the right place at the right time to tap home an equaliser and stun Bengaluru after a Gurpreet Singh Sandhu save fell perfectly for him. Bengaluru tried hard for a late winner but Hyderabad held on to secure a hard-earned point.
Robin Singh was on the pitch for a little over 10 minutes but made his presence felt by scoring the equaliser. He was perfectly placed to tap home the equaliser and was adjudged the Hero of the Match for his role in 10-man Hyderabad getting a point.